Although we’d been to Italy twice before, we were only introduced to spritz (pronounced spreets in your best Italian accent) on our last trip in 2009. We spent a longer time in the Veneto and settled into a routine of being locals ourselves. In the Veneto in the late afternoon and before dinner, this means going with friends for lo spritz. This is quite frankly another version of “Happy Hour”, but of course it’s done “Italian Style” as one of my husband’s cousins is always saying about pretty much anything Italian.
The first and most important ingredient in making spritz is a Technicolor orange liqueur called Aperol which incidentally contains Quinine. I know what you’re thinking. “Isn’t that the drug that I had to take before my trip to __________ in the 1930’s to ward off Malaria?” Why yes it is and it also has anti-inflammatory properties, antiarrhythmic effects, and is used to treat lupus, arthritis, & nocturnal leg cramps. So should you be a rheumatic person with a dodgy heartbeat and a touch of Malaria, suffering from leg cramps this could be the drink for you. I jest of course, as the amounts of the drug are likely minute.
Secondly you will require Prosecco, the Veneto’s very own ultra delicious dry sparkling wine and a favorite of mine on its own. You will have lots of this creamy dreamy wine left to drink after you finish your spritz.
Lastly you will require a splash of aqua minerale frizzante, or to put it plainly, sparkling (soda) water. Any type will do, but since this is an “Italian style” drink I use San Pellegrino for authenticity. Also, you may use ice if you like.
Once you have gathered the necessities it is time to begin concocting, and it’s as easy as 3-2-1. That’s 3 parts Prosecco, 2 parts Aperol, and 1 splash of sparkling water. Drink, enjoy and repeat if necessary.